The first major focus of the Berlinale 2013 is now certain: Indigenous cinema. A special line-up entitled NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema will be devoted to cinematic storytelling of First Peoples from around the world. Milestones of indigenous filmmaking will be shown in a special programme of feature-length and short fictional and documentary films. The programme will be curated by Maryanne Redpath together with several experts who are themselves of Indigenous descent.
The central venue of the main programme will be the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, where, in addition to the film screenings, panel discussions and other events will be held. The first year’s regional focus of this on-going special series is on the four pillars which hold up Indigenous cinematic culture: Australia, New Zealand/Ocenia, Canada and the United States. The Berlinale sections also plan to include recent Indigenous films from all over the world in their various programmes and competitions.
“The experience of gathering together in the dark with a bunch of my fellow citizens to experience intimate and epic stories in images of light is a near primal experience. It is related to the storytellers of yesterday who would thrill listeners at night by the flickering light of a fire,” says Maori filmmaker Tainui Stephens from New Zealand/Aotearoa.
NATIVe will give international audiences the chance to experience the diverse forms of expression and content of Indigenous cinema. With this line-up, the Berlinale wants to express its high regard for indigenous cinema and its artistic, economic and political relevance, which goes beyond the boundaries of nation and tribe.
As Festival Director Dieter Kosslick states: “We wish to reveal the significance of Indigenous film for cinematic art and, above all, for Indigenous Peoples. I’m pleased the Berlinale is taking this initiative and NATIVe will be able to unfold its great potential at the next Festival and beyond.”
May 14, 2012